Super Fun Instrument Design

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In this episode of Sound Design Live Podcast I talk with electronic instrument designer, musician, and controllerism evangelist Moldover about music instrument technology, his super cool circuit board CD, and why the hell MIDI still exists.

Big thanks to video director Jon Lowe!

Details from the podcast:

  1. Instruments, Circuit board CD on Hack-a-Day
  2. Homepage, Lovetech, Controllerism, Robotspeak
  3. MIDI on Wikipedia

Related Post: Mark Mosher on Music Instrument Technology, Electronic Music, & Ableton Live

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  1. says

    I just finished watching the video and listening to the audio all the way through. Oustanding! You’ve done a wonderful job of encapsulating all the different work I’ve done in recent years. I really appreciate your enthusiastic and thoughtful approach to interviewing. I think you did a great job with the editing too- trimming it to under 20-minutes but keeping all the info in there. Well done!

    If any of you Sound Design Live fans care to check out my more recent work, I have a bunch of new videos up at


    • Profile photo of Nathan Lively says

      Thanks Moldover! It was really fun checking out your instruments.
      This was my first time using the new version of Final Cut, so I’m glad it looked good to your eyes.

  2. Lucas says

    Wow, really fun to watch!

    Such clean product design, does Moldover fabricate and program everything himself?

    The MIDI interface discussion was interesting as well. Such a fixed format is strange when compared to other changes in technology (like the change from CDs mentioned). I can’t think of many other technologies as old and still as widely used as MIDI.

    • Profile photo of Nathan Lively says

      I don’t think he smelts the metal, but we’ll have to ask him. 😉
      On top of being old, MIDI is slow and bulky. Two of the five signal cables don’t even do anything! I suppose it was designed with the idea to be expandable.
      It’s interesting to me when a new $100,000 piece of hardware comes out and it has all the pro interface formats and then… MIDI, just to round things out.

  3. Moldover says

    Our conversation about MIDI prompted me to research the topic a bit. Here is a great white paper published by the MIDI Manufacturers Association addressing a lot of the accusations that MIDI is “slow”, “low resolution” etc.

    MIDI is just a protocol- a predefined and limited set of messages used for communication. As that paper outlines, pretty much all of the shortcomings of its old hardware interface (the 5-pin DIN system) have been overcome via new interfaces like USB and Ethernet, and the protocol itself works really well for representing musical gestures. ASCII is here to stay as long as we use written language in our computers and like it or not, MIDI will probably stick around as long as we use music in our machines 😉

    ( ! )

    P.S. Livid Instruments, Visionary Instruments, and Front Panel Express help me fabricate parts for the Mojo.

  4. says

    Wow amazing excellent piece of work very inspiring and motivating!Thanks for this inspiring video posting..


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